Probably the one reason everyone comes to Xi’an is for the Terracotta Warriors. It’s definitely something worth seeing, but there is a lot more to Xi’an than that!
Xi’an was once a capital city for one of China’s various empires (I’m not a history major!) and as such as a lot of cultural treasures and old buildings. The city walls themselves look amazing and very well maintained. They also have these giant Pagodas that you can visit and a bustling old town that has a small Muslim quarter. Quite the cultural mix!
The old town is great for picking up some cheap souvenirs and visiting some of the art stores is always fun. There are some great restaurants in the old town as well where you can try various dishes, like a bowl of cold noodles covered in a sesame sauce..Very tasty.
As far as the Terracotta warriors – Your hotel or hostel can probably arrange a tour for you, or you can take a local bus – it’s much cheaper. There are different stops along the way however most people just continue on to the Warriors.
The complex is huge – there are several hanger sized building where archeaologists are still unearthing these ancient statues. While it’s all very interesting and worth a look, it’s easy to be put off by the huge tourist market you’re forced to walk through on the way out. It seems to go on forever with vendors shouting at you to try and get your attention and buy their generally crappy souvenirs. It’s the same stuff you can buy all over China, and far cheaper..Just check the old town in Xi’an first!